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A handheld neutron-detection sensor application is described in this paper. The sensor system utilizes a new class of boron carbide diode that interacts with incoming neutrons. To interface with the boron carbide diode, an integrated front end is designed in a 1.5-μm standard CMOS technology. With the diode and front-end microchip, a handheld neutron-detection system was realized with an embedded microcontroller for real-time processing. The handheld detector operation was then tested with a plutonium–beryllium neutron source. Test and measurement results confirm the validity of the approach and the functionality of the design.